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Sheffield Astronomy Seminars

Organised by Claire Esau and Joachim Bestenlehner

Full Spring semester 2018 (Feb 2018 to Sep 2018)

Tori, disks, and winds — the AGN dust emission at high angular resolution

Sebastian Hönig (Southampton)

Wed 21 Feb 2018

15:30 in Hicks Lecture Theatre 6


Mass accretion onto supermassive black holes occurs on scales beyond the diffraction limit of any single optical/infrared (IR) telescope. Thanks to the resolution power of the VLT Interferometer, we are now tapping into the outer accretion structure of active galactic nuclei (AGN) — commonly referred to as the “dusty torus”. New and surprising results challenge the current paradigm: the bulk of the mid-IR emission is not originating from the torus, but extends far into the outflow region of the AGN, ranging from sub-parsec scales to 100s pc. I will give an overview of the state of high-resolution IR observations of AGN and discuss the new emerging disk+wind paradigm in the context of AGN unification and the physical processes that regulate accretion and feedback.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Astronomy Group
University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road
Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 4536, Fax: +44 (0)114 222 3555
E-mail: Claire Esau and Joachim Bestenlehner